Saturday, 12 December 2009

Lets see what the audience think?

At this point of the modelling of the character i thought it would be a good time post up some images of my character and get some early feedback on what they thought. Too my surprise my model was very well received and i got some good suggestions on how i should develop the character further. For a while i noticed that the character was looking far too symmetrical and needed to be broken up. So a discussion between a few members of the UT3 community suggested that a scar be added to his face. I suggested a cigar in his mouth and everyone on the forum agreed that this would be a very good idea. So all in all i was very pleased with how this thread turned out and i found the Unreal Community very helpful.

Here's is a link to that thread that i posted up in the Epic Games Forum:

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Looking at the Arms so far.....

Now on to the arms on the whole the arms have not changed too much from the concept design and blueprints however there has been some alterations applied to it. If we look at fig.7 i have tried to keep the basic shape that i had done in the concept design phase. When i modelled the Arms back in October i noticed that the Arms looked too square and needed some extra roundness applied to them. The result i believe is much better as it makes the Arms more realistic.


I was really pleased how i modelled the Hands being able to keep everything as quads was a challenge but i think i was able to manage this part of the task quite well. In my previous attempt at modelling a Hand i struggled slightly and obviously i have learnt from my previous experience. Looking at the Hand up close in fig.8 this shows how i have managed to keep the polys evenly spread.

Looking at the Face so far.....

Since i have started the development stage there is one aspect of my model that i am very pleased with and how it is shaping up and that is the Face that i have produced. I have been able to stay quite true to the concept design that i produced in the Pre-production stage and i am pleased with how the edge loops have come together, fig.6 shows how close to concept design i have kept to it.
Looking at fig.6 more closely the front view is very close to the concept design, however the side view i think may need some slight adjustments applied to it maybe using the Soft Selection utility within 3DS Max will help me resolve this problem. I will try to address this issue in the next couple of days before moving on to the next stage.

Looking at the Boots so far.....

I would like to now talk about the boots and the progression that has been made up to the present day. The boots have also seen a dramatic change since the Production phase has started, my original blueprints had them very thin and elongated and looking at fig.5 i can see a huge improvement.
Having to change the shape of the boots to conform with the Unreal skeleton back in November i was alot happier with the shape of the boots but i felt that it needed more detail added to it take make them look more ecstatically pleasing to the eye. Although the shape of the Boots have changed in width and height i believe that i have been able to still maintain some of the original concept design, particularly the back end of the Boot. I think that adding the strap going around the back of the boot emphasis's it better and makes the boot look more unique in design.

Looking at the Legs so far.....

Looking at the legs there hasn't been a dramatic change since the start of the modelling process, it has mainly just been subtle changes like adding in a belt ammo pack and extra ammo. The legs have also been slimmed down like the rest of the body has to give the character alot more form and definition. The character legs look alot better now that they have been slimmed down and alot more believable.

Looking at the Torso so far.....

I would like to now show how each body part has changed throughout development from the original concept design to the present day. To start off with i shall talk about the Torso and how it has changed over the past few months. I wanted to start off with the Torso as this has seen the biggest change since i started the development of the character.
If we look at fig.3 we can see that from my original concept design through to early development in 3DS Max things where looking very flat and un-interesting to look look at. Back in October in order to form the Torso alls i done to create it was to use a cylinder object and re-shaped it slightly. This was easily picked up on by my tutors and John and again with alot of things throughout development i could not see it at first until this was pointed out to me.


Back in October i can now say that i wasn't really looking at my original concept design properly and really considering how to create the form and shape that i had originally planned. It was suggested that i should start again with the Torso and this was a very good move i believe. It was at this point that i could see that things where not working or looking correct so i created a box object and started to re-shape the box accordingly. Back in October my torso had no form or shape to it in order to make the characters body stand out. Looking at how the torso is today i can see a massive difference between October and December.

Whilst i was creating the Torso it became apparent to me that i needed to put more detail onto the back of the character as my character will be in third person mode this is what the user would see more predominantly. In November i started to attempt to address this issue by putting in some pipes however it became clear that these pipes had no purpose or funtion. So having a re-think i decided to add a Jet Pack. I believe that this has worked well and really adds to the characters design in making it look more interesting to look at and also this helped bring out the silhoutte of my character.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

A time for reflection on the process and development so far....

I think it is about time that should look back over my work and attempt to comment on the production stage of my project and what exactly have i learnt throughout this process so far.

I think i would like to firstly start off by saying that things have not exactly gone to plan, my Gantt chart that i produced in Pre-production had me finishing all base meshes for the character, weapon and vehicle before Christmas. I believe that i have been naive in thinking that everything was going to run like a well oiled machine. Hopefully by the end of this post it will show the problems i encountered in producing such a delay.


As fig.1 shows there is a massive difference between my original concept design and and the present model that i have produced. Why do they look so different? The main reason being;

  1. The basic shape and anatomy of my character had to change dramatically in order to conform with the UT3 skeleton. My original concept design was produced to look as realistic and anatomically correct as possible, however before i even began to build my model John suggested that i should attempt to import the default UT3 character that was free to download. Immediately i knew that things were going to have to change as the Unreal proportions of the body did not conform to true life. Why they build their model in this way i don't really understand, maybe they made them this way so they would be instantly recognizable.

  2. My concept design had no real form or any kind of detail that would help my character stand out. I cannot believe that i never seen this way back in pre-production looking back now it looks boring and uninteresting. All the armour was flat and didn't have much shape and detail in it but this was not immediately apparent to me until i started modelling the character in 3DS MAx.

  3. Having imported the UT3 character i realised that if i carried on with my original concept my character would look bland in comparison to other pre built models already in UT3. Hence the reason alot more detail was added into the back area and a Jetpack was added as this is the view point that the user would see more of when playing UT3.
So what changes have been exactly made since the original concept design?

If we look at fig.2 below we can see that my model has gone through a big transformation from the original concept in terms of scale and size. Main differences between the different stages are the proportions have changed both in width and in height. The total frame of the anatomy had been bulked up in order to not look out of place in the Unreal universe. It was strange that i never picked up on this at first or earlier on in the development of the character i think i was distracted by poly counts or something but i was shocked when i realized how wrong the body shape was.


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Looking at other artists work and how they detail their characters

Hi John I've been looking at the examples that you sent me and I've posted a couple of them up on here for everyone to see. What I'm not understanding is how detailed do i go in the modelling stage in 3DS Max and when do i stop and let Z-Brush do the work? I'm alittle concerned at the moment as I'm starting to go over budget as my character is already on 11,556 tris. Dean has told me that i can go up to 20,000 tris as this was his tri budget for the characters that he has created. So I'm not entirely sure the correct plan of action John?